On stolen grocery carts

Yes. I’ve been known to steal grocery carts.Rear view of a young Asian woman standing with arms akimbo in

There, I’ve said it.

Orange is the new black, right?

In my defense, the first time I committed cart robbery I was tired as only a single mom can be. And had been that way for so long, I thought I was on my game.


It all began in the dairy section. I needed a container of sour cream that was so high up and far back on the shelf, I was sure I’d need a Harlem Globetrotter to reach it.

Along came a six-foot-tall woman who saw my dilemma and kindly nabbed the sour cream for me.

I thanked her and put it in the cart next to me, pushing off to the deli.

About five minutes into my deli foray, I heard an announcement to all shoppers, indicating someone had taken a cart that was not theirs. Could that person kindly return it to the Customer Service counter?

As I put some freshly baked French bread into my cart, I thought it an odd message to broadcast. Most people who take the wrong cart realize it very soon after doing so.

In the soup aisle, the announcement came again, this time a bit louder and more vehement.

I chuckled, rolled my eyes and said to the woman standing next to me surveying the chicken stock, “Boy, you REALLY have to be out of it to take someone else’s cart and not notice 20 minutes and two announcements later.” We laughed, a bit condescendingly, at the poor misguided soul who was pushing someone else’s Twinkies. I mean, really.

It hit me in the cracker aisle, as the third announcement blared over the store’s intercom system.

I had Twinkies in my cart.

I don’t buy Twinkies.

Turns out, I also had beef jerky, marshmallows and instant hot chocolate.

Yep. You guessed it. None of those were my items.

And I realized—I’m the idiot they’ve been paging for the past 20 minutes.

Imagine my mortification when I realized that it was the kindly giant from the dairy section who awaited me in Customer Service. She had helped me and I responded by absconding with her groceries—Twinkies and all.

After laughing and some good-natured ribbing, I found my cart back in the Dairy section (I guess I was the only cart nabber that day, as it was still intact where  I had left it) and we made the item by item switch.

Shopping convoyThis incident happened about a year ago and I’d love to say not since.

But I cannot.

I’m usually caught in the act about an aisle over. And I’ve done this probably half a dozen times now.

I’d like to wax eloquent about my first victim’s poor eating habits or any of the others’ exasperation. But I can’t right now.

I think I need a nap. Before I head out to the store.

Look sharp, people. I might be headed your way.



22 Comments Add yours

  1. Haha! I usually throw some extra food in abandoned trolleys!

  2. suemclaren24 says:

    Totally LOL. Lots of us can relate to the so-tired syndrome. Thanks!

  3. Wow! A goofy error i have not actually committed myself! Those don’t come along every day. Thanks for the laugh, Kay. 🙂

  4. Roy McCarthy says:

    Wire basket for me and inner rage at all the carts/trolleys in my way. Men aren’t made for shopping. Your confession made me smile though Kay 🙂

  5. Oh I so needed that Kay. I have tears in my eyes from laughing so hard. Not at you, in empathy my friend. I recently, and after being told I’m old, had an incident similar. I was aghast, as you were, that I could do this ‘thing’.
    So, they’re wearing orange coveralls in the cells these days. I feel a life of crime coming on 😀

    1. candidkay says:

      So glad I gave you a laugh! Not enough of those these days:). And I don’t look so good in orange . . . that will be a problem:).

      1. Surely they give a color choice in there 😀

  6. I can’t say I have done that. However, I have been known to take away a bag of groceries of the next person at the check-out which, fortunately, I realized by the time I reached the car-park and was able to quickly return.

    1. candidkay says:

      I’ll see you in the Big House, Elizabeth:). Lol.

  7. Cant say I’ve ever done this but I have done the rock the shopping cart with no baby in it.

  8. We’ve all done that. I’ve been known to leave my purse in the shopping cart, get into my car and drive away. Thank God the two times I’ve done that (two!) I got it back, but there were some heart-pounding moments. I felt beyond stupid.

  9. markbialczak says:

    The wrong cart incident for my dear wife Karen and I did not turn out so well, Kay, when the thief never responded to the PA system, deciding instead to walk — run? — away with the five reusable bags that were in our cart. The expensive kind, too, that we had found at BJs for bigger bucks because the handles didn’t break off under too much weight and the bags proper didn’t develop holes after a trip or three. And this was the day before Thanksgiving. After I ran the aisles futilely bag-searching each cart for 30 minutes, Karen was so steamed she decided we were going to a different supermarket chain instead. And we got plastic until the next trip to BJs to buy two more sets of the good, expensive reuseable bags.

    1. candidkay says:

      I promise–pinkie swear–I wasn’t in your neck of the woods over Thanksgiving, Mark. In case you were wondering:).

      1. markbialczak says:

        Never suspected you for a second, Kay. 🙂

  10. Amy says:

    This is priceless! I’m still chuckling! xo

  11. Kevin says:

    Thanks for the good laugh this morning. This happens to me when my wife and I shop together. I’m no longer allowed to wander too far from the cart to protect myself from coming back to the wrong cart. Maybe I need a leash too?

    1. candidkay says:

      Sshh. Don’t give her any ideas about a leash . . . you’re likely to end up on one:).

  12. Great one, Kay!
    Go forth and sin no more.

    1. candidkay says:

      I’ll try but my track record is spotty, Cynthia!

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